FOOT CARE AND ADVICE
You may not think about your feet that often — way down there at the ends of your legs — but they’re an essential part of almost everything you do.
Whether walking, running, exercising, or just standing, having feet that are comfortable and well-cared for (rather than aching or in pain) makes the experience much more pleasant. Therefore knowing how to care for your feet is key.
And, this isn’t just about feeling good. When your feet don’t get the attention they need, chronic problems can develop, which may trouble you for years to come. In many cases, there are some simple stretches and exercises that can help keep your feet in top form. However, there are some situations when caring for your feet on your own is not advised. People who have ongoing circulation problems or diabetes should also consult a doctor where any foot problems are concerned.
Circulation problems are often associated with older feet, but the fact is that anyone can have such problems. When there’s not enough blood flowing to your feet, you may experience tingling, numbness, cramping, and discoloration of the skin and toenails.
Everyday circumstances can restrict blood flow: when feet get cold outdoors or in cold water; when shoes, stockings, or undergarments are too tight; even when you’ve sat too long with your legs crossed. Smoking reduces circulation to all parts of the body, as does drinking too much coffee or caffeinated soda (both nicotine and caffeine constrict blood vessels). And if you are under severe stress, your nerves can constrict your small blood vessels, lessening their ability to carry blood. Some nervous brides and grooms really do have “cold feet”!
Other people have ongoing medical conditions, such as diabetes, that cause sluggish circulation. In addition, for most of us, a cut or blister is an annoying but for others can have serious repercussions
Your feet take the weight of your whole body, so foot problems can quickly lead to discomfort and affect the way you walk. This can in turn cause knee, hip and back pain.
The good news is that looking after your feet can prevent many of these problems. Investing a bit of time and thought into caring for your feet now can prevent them causing you pain later.
Wash your feet often
Don’t go to bed without washing your feet. If you leave dirt on the skin’s surface, it can become irritated and infected. Wash your feet every evening with soap and water.
Dry your feet well
Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes which is where germs such as Athlete’s foot can easily spread. Then, apply a moisturising foot cream to help reduce hard skin.
Remove hard skin
Gently remove hard skin and calluses with a pumice stone or foot file regularly.
Cut toenails carefully
Always trim your toenails straight across, never at an angle or down the edges. This can cause ingrown toenails,.as can cutting them too short.
Shoe shop in the afternoon
Shop for shoes in the afternoon. Feet swell as the day goes on and if shoes fit in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest, you can be assured they will always be comfortable.
Footwear tips for work
If you have to wear heels at work, wear comfortable shoes to and from the office and only wear your smart shoes once you’re in the office. Also, try to vary the heel height, between low, medium and high.
Limit time wearing high heels
Be shoe savvy. Wear high heels and pointed shoes for special occasions only, and always wear the right shoes for the job (so no sandals for mountain climbing).
Foot pain advice for over-60s
If you’re over 60, foot care becomes even more important. Age takes its toll: your skin thins, your joints begin to stiffen and your feet become more vulnerable to the cold.
You may be finding it hard to cut your nails, and the long handled scissors aren’t as easy as it seems.
If you have hard skin, thickened nails and corns the best thing to do is have a foot health practitioner visit you at home or care home.
Full foot treatments including nail trimming, thickened nails reduced, corns and calluses treated and foot care advice is available from a private practitioner.
A visit last approximately an hour and you will defiantly notice a marked difference post treatment.
Foot Health practitioner